Saturday, August 15, 2009

More On Acklin's Strange Path To 'Independence'

I sense that, in general, Democrats perceive Republicans to be highly organized and well-funded. At a national level, I believe this perception to be accurate. An effective system of think tank/advocacy groups amplifies the conservative message beyond its natural volume throughout the United States, particularly in publications, on campuses and among lobbyists. There are more Olin/Bradley/Cato/Heritage fellowships/scholarships/awards/stipends fully funded and available and than there are conservative students, professors and wonks to take them.

At the local level, however, I believe Democrats' fear of Republican organization and cash is not only overblown but nearly unfounded.

Recent discussion of Republican involvement (or lack of involvement) with respect to the Kevin Acklin-orchestrated challenge of Dok Harris' nominating petition signatures generated a comment suggesting the local Republican heirarchy opposed Acklin's candidacy, an assertion that conflicted with my observations.

It is difficult to walk from the Carlton to the Common Plea without hearing someone mention the latest contribution to Acklin's campaign by the spouse-sibling-employee-parent of a prominent Republican Party figure. If county Republican chair Jim Roddey has been 'putting out the word' that Acklin is not to be helped, he must be doing so in a voice so quiet that it can't be heard one pillow over (by Acklin contributor Elin Roddey, left).

Recently, I have been told, some Republicans have objected to Acklin's support among committee members, pointing to the delicious irony that the Republican Party has (1) a rule requiring committee members to support endorsed Republicans and refrain from supporting the opponents of endorsed Republicans and (2) an endorsed candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh. . . named Luke Ravenstahl.

I also have been informed that the county Republican committee's leaders reacted to this problem -- which is a problem, of course, only if the party leaders wish to support Acklin -- by summoning their solicitor. (The solicitor identified by the county Republican website is a lawyer whose practice focuses on bankrupt entities, which makes her a natural fit for an assignment to promote Republican ideology.)

The Republicans' solicitor is said to be ready to grant (or to have already granted) written permission for county committee members to support Acklin (right) over Ravenstahl, on the basis that the rule was never intended to apply to support for a former Republican whose views on 'family values' and 'fiscal restraint' and other Republican buzz phrases are congruent with conservativism. (I haven't seen the written opinion, but I assume it also will contain a snotty, sarcastic and accurate swipe at Ravenstahl.)

This doesn't damn Kevin Acklin -- for all I know, his familiarity with local Republicans might cause him to prefer not to have their help, and you can't always pick your supporters -- but it suggests that those who claim the local Republican establishment isn't backing Acklin energetically either don't know what they are talking about or are being disingenuous.


Anonymous said...

So is your name going appear on Dok's next campaign finance statement as a staffer? Because you are carrying an awful lot of water for him right now.

Acklin LEFT THEIR PARTY. It was not a friendly parting of ways, let me tell you that.

Are their still R's who are supporting him for Mayor? Yes. There are a lot of Democrats too.

Info, this is not rocket science. Look at the campaign finance reports, and stop carrying water for one candidate over the another in a dishonest manner. Be thoughtful. That's all we ask.

Infinonymous said...

I carry no water for Harris. The competition between two weak candidates to finish third in the race for mayor -- Patrick Dowd was the best candidate, had the best shot to beat the incumbent, and finished second in the more important election -- does not strike me as adequate stimulus to stoop to pick up a pail for either Harris or Acklin.

Not a friendly parting? Let's check the replay:

Did Elin Roddey donate to Acklin's campaign? Did party leaders commission their solicitor to issue an opinion blessing committee members' support of Acklin against the endorsed Republican candidate? Did the solicitor issue such a peculiar opinion? Did a member of the county Republican committee file the signature challenge for Acklin?

The only point for which Acklin seems responsible is hiring a Republican soldier to file the signature challenge. None of the other points is necessarily within Acklin's control, but the cumulative effect challenges an assertion of a hostle parting.

(By the way, has Acklin publicly taken responsibility for the signature challenge? If he did, I missed it and commend him for being a stand-up guy. If he didn't, that's inexplicably poor form.)

Tossing around allegations of dishonesty, bias and thoughtlessness seems careless from someone who hasn't begun to advance any argument (let alone a persuasive one) and seems to be straining to avoid evidence.

Anonymous said...

So if you're not carrying water for Dok, are you going to show up on Luke's CFR? You are clearly carrying water for someone who has it out for Acklin since you are making a strong effort to lie about what's going on in the mayor's race. Your bias is revolting.

What evidence do you have for your myriad claims? You have thrown a lot of accusations around with absolutely no facts to back them up...for all we know you are just making this stuff up. Let's review:

Claim #1: "The petition challenge was filed by a Republican Committee Member."

Who filed the challenge? According to the Trib, three people filed the challenge: Stephanie Felton, Brenda Kavulic, and William Dapper. Which one of these people is a Republican Committee Member? If you are trying to associate someone else with the challenge, where is your evidence? These three people are the ones who appear on the challenge, any other name you throw on their is probably just made up. The challenge probably did come from the Acklin camp, let's be honest. But this is standard campaign practice, its not like Acklin opened a latter day Guantanamo Bay in Pittsburgh.

Claim #2: "Party leaders have commissioned some sort of legal opinion from their solicitor allowing them to work for Acklin."

Where is your evidence? Where is this opinion? Where is the Republican operative who gave you any information relating to this? This, again, is a claim you have made that is totally baseless and that you have presented with NO evidence to back yourself up.

So I ask you, where is your evidence? You are just making unsubstantiated claims that for all we know you are pulling out of your ass.

Infinonymous said...

The signature challenge was filed by Christopher Jacobs, a lawyer associated with the McCandless Republican Committee.

The Acklin-Ravenstahl opinion was issued by Beverly Weiss Manne, solicitor for the Allegheny County Republican Committee.

(You would know this if you had read the parts of my blog about which you complain. I would welcome an explanation of the curious disconnect.)

For evidence, simply visit the clerk of courts and review the docket concerning the signature challenge. Mr. Jacobs' name will be at the lower-right corner of the cover sheet that was filed with the petition; his name is the one labeled "Counsel Of Record For This Party." (Or, as I have been reliably informed that Mr. Jacobs reads this blog, he might be kind enough to post confirmation for you.)

Then, find a Republican Committee Member and ask that member to inquire about the Acklin-Ravenstahl legal opinion. I expect a committee member could rustle up a copy for you.

Before hurling accusations of lying and "totally baseless" information, it is prudent to perform basic research, lest you look silly.

Anonymous said...

This is an absolutely absurd argument, when there's much more interesting questions along these lines that can be asked:

(1) What Republican skeletons are still in Harris' closet? Acklin has been honest about his past affiliations, which makes any Republican-by-association accusations completely dull. Harris--I'm starting to hear--also has a Republican past. A candidate trying to hide his past party affiliations is more interesting to me than one who has some that everyone knows about.

(2) Which candidate can beat Luke? I want to see Luke beaten, and there's quite a bit of room between where I stand (quite liberal) and where Luke stands (further to the right--not to mention completely incompetent). In my estimation, Harris & Acklin both live somewhere between me & Luke politically, but a candidate who can beat Luke in a General Election is going to NEED the handful of Republican votes out there. It's going to take a precarious coalition to win, and more power to the candidate who can cobble these votes together.

Infinonymous said...

Instead of jousting pointlessly concerning your shifting positions on what is interesting, persuasive, accurate, dull or absurd, I simply will note that it must be extremely difficult to type anything at all while holding several pails of water in each hand.

Anonymous said...

I also want to note that the anonymous who posted at 8:34 AM is a totally different person than I am, as I posted the first two comments.

So how about you answer the person's question?